Working from home is something that many of us simply hadn’t done before we moved into lock down; and, for some it was an extension of ‘business as usual’ remote working practices that we were able to easily move into. For others it was a total mission if we had partners that were still working and we needed to juggle the challenges of working whilst trying to support our kids with home schooling too.
Whatever your experience, how we work has been changed as a result of lock down and working from home. If your teams have worked from home, maybe now you are in a situation of thinking about how this could work better for the long term.
Is ongoing home working feasible?
- If you were able to have your teams working from home – were they productive, did they meet performance expectations (as much as possible given often declining revenues across many sectors)? Were they able to continue adding value to the business and your customers/clients? Did you also find that there was little to no sick leave with team members working from home – thereby, keeping productivity higher?
– Check: financials, productivity results for projects and/or timekeeping
– Do: Have regular one-on-one video conference calls with your team and direct reports to ensure that you know what your team is doing and how they are tracking
- Are their homes suitable for home working? Was there a door on the ‘office’ to block out distractions? Is there space set up fully to take into account H&S requirements? (We only had one incident of Wateen falling off her chair and giving herself a concussion – thankfully she recovered well!)
– Do: Undertake a survey of your clients – what has been their experience, take the learnings from this feedback. Are there any gaps that you need to bridge?
– Do: Create a H&S checklist to ensure that your teams have good work spaces and that they are indeed safe
- Determine what are the possible advantages of not having the team in the office i.e. less need for a physical office, less office overhead costs, less travel?
- Determine what are the possible disadvantages of not having the team in the office i.e. less comradery, impact on the office culture, paying for an office that you don’t need, not having quality face to face time, not able to see clients face to face, or it may feel unfair to those that do need to be present on site?
– Do: Prepare a list of pros and cons; and, come up with solutions to address the cons – use this in your assessment for feasibility
- How do your team feel about home working versus working in the office?
– Do: Ask them and take on board their feedback
When considering feasibility – think about all of these factors in relation to the needs of your customers, management of costs and retention of your high performers. If change is to happen, now is the time to make it work for your clients, your team, your business and you.
By Sharn Rayner, Managing Partner – Business Advisory